European Stocks Are Little Changed as Value Shares Lead Declines

European equities showed limited movement amid lower trading volume, with the U.S. market closed, while this month’s strong rotation into value stocks reversed on concerns about the spreading pandemic.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dipped 0.1% by the close, with U.S. markets shut for the Thanksgiving holiday, reducing the number of global participants. More defensive sectors, such as technology and health-care shares led the advance, while energy firms and carmakers paced the retreat.

European stocks have surged in November as breakthroughs in vaccine development spurred bets of a return to economic normalcy, fueling gains in laggard cyclical and value sectors. The Stoxx 600 is up 14%, poised for a record monthly gain, beating the U.S. S&P 500 Index.

European Stocks Are Little Changed as Value Shares Lead Declines

But even with three successful vaccines on the table, sentiment turned cautious Thursday as the virus toll continued to rise in Europe and the U.S., leading German Chancellor Angela Merkel to likely keep restrictions in place until early January and to call on Europe’s ski resorts to close this winter.

The German government’s decision “suggests that the coming winter is likely to be a long hard slog for businesses all over Europe, as populations tire of having their freedoms restricted, and concerns grow about the prospect of much longer term economic damage,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets Plc.

The latest fund flow data from EPFR Global and Bank of America Corp. showed that European equity funds had their first inflow in seven weeks, attracting just $0.1 billion.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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